Crosses

What about it? It’s
just two sticks of wood. Long
and narrow and full of splinters.

Two sticks of wood, tied
together. They used some
nails as well, hammered in
stone.

The thing that makes it
different, is the thing that
everyone is looking
at.

The symbol always lives
on longer than
anything else. Just
two sticks of wood,
cast against the shadow of legends.

Southern Cross
Southern Cross (Photo credit: varrqnuht)

NaNoWriMo: 2011

And it’s NaNoWriMo time again! I think maybe it’s my 9th time participating? Anyways, challenge of 50,000-words-in-one-month accepted!

Medieval illustration of a Christian scribe wr...

Image via Wikipedia

As usual, I’ve fortified my stocks of caffeine for the month and set up a “writing station” in my house (that is basically just a power strip with all my devices plugged in and then a box of snacks set up nearby).

The Writing Nitty Gritty:

Last year I used Google Docs to store my novel, which works out well for my needs (as in I am constantly changing machines and hate the fuss of messing about with memory sticks, though you do need an internet connection). The great thing about Google Docs was organizing my novel using the table of contents links. The downside is the occasional typing lag and less than stellar options for plotting and organizing snippets. I also tend to be a non-linear writer (for example, I’ll jump ahead and write Chapter 30 before I write Chapter 5). This year I’m testing out Yarny, which is in beta right now but a pretty stable beta. Yarny is similar to Google Docs (stores it online, access it in browser) but has some nifty sidebar configurations portioned off for organizing random snippets, writing out character profiles, writing notes about items, and places. So instead of keeping several documents of notes alongside my main novel, I can now track it all via one window.

Care to join me in my madness? Sign up and friend me! (You know, if you’re into that sort of thing…)

Websites Referenced in this blog post:

List: Things I’ve found entertaining lately

Because I love lists, here is a list of things that have been occupying my time lately:

  1. WTF podcast by Marc Maron. Full of cursing and irreverent humor but holds a surprising depth to the topics. Comedian Marc Maron gets raw with other comedians and topics range from how to showcase vulnerability on the stage and in life, nuances and comedic technique, and other topics with surprising depth. It’s hilarious and subversively thought-provoking at the same time. Yes, comedians are people too. Warning: Strong language and offensive humor.
  2. Protect the Boss (Korean Drama). One of my vices is watching delightfully fluffy and non-brain engaging soap operas/television dramas. “Protect the Boss” has so far eschewed the down-trodden meek heroine falls in love with rich perfect man trope that so many Korean dramas recycle. Instead we have a charmingly eccentric main lead woman who can actually kick ass. And then the typical rich, perfect etc male lead is completely  neurotic and awful at his job. Watch it at mysoju or dramacrazy.
  3. Rachel Maddow. I have a serious crush on that woman. Brains turn me on!
Talk show host and commentator Rachel Maddow. ...

Image via Wikipedia

And another list of things I need to work on:
  1. Running. Yes, I fell off the wagon again. I am so awful at exercising. I think my next goal is to get in some consistent 45min to 60min long runs.
  2. Pushups. Yeah so much for following that schedule, are there any pushup podcasts out there? Sort of like the Chubby Jones Couch to 5k podcasts?
  3. Painting. I owe my friend a painting and I’ve been sadly lax about it.
Any readers have a list they want to share?

Recipe Link: Avgolemono

My kitchen skills are pretty dire. Mostly it stems from both a lack of wanting to cook and a desire for the food to already BE cooked without that pesky waiting time in between that cooking seems to require. However, my constant craving for actual home-cooked type meals is at war with my lazier nature.

Also, I love home-made soup.

I’ll be trying to make this recipe sometime this week 🙂 It promises to be creamy without being heavy; and as a bonus, apparently kids like it too! (I’m a kid at heart!)

 

Bonus info: the wiki page on avgolemono

Article Link: The secret life of pronouns

Article screenshot

Click for Article Link: New Scientist

from “The Secret Life of Pronouns”:

 STOP for a moment and think about your most recent conversation, email, tweet or text message. Perhaps you think you said something about dinner plans, domestic chores or work. And you probably did. But at the same time, you said much more. The precise words you used revealed more about you than you can imagine.

Review: Website: Music: Turntable.fm and Rolling.fm — DJ virtually and socially

Website Review:
1. Turntable.fm
2. Rolling.fm

What it is:
A cross up of social chat and music playlists. Typically different chatrooms cater to different music and users join a chat room where they can then take a shot at being one of the DJs for the room (space is limited in the popular chats) or just hang out and groove along.

History Lesson:
The model for these websites seems to capitalize on hipster indie music type scenes and take advantage of streaming music over the Internet (like Pandora or Last.fm) and merge it with social media.

Culture:
The aforementioned hipster indie social scene, but a good subset of techno lovers and especially dubstep aficionados.

Screen-caps: (Click the images for a larger version)

Screengrab Turntable.fm Sept 2011

Partying in the dubstep room

Screengrab Rolling.fm Sept 2011

Screengrab Rolling.fm Sept 2011

From the screen-grabs you can see that users in a room can rate the currently playing song (lame/awesome vs weak/hot respectively). There’s a window where you can queue up your DJ set list and another window for the chat component. The ever-present avatar for your special virtual self is populated within the room. Modifications can be made to your avatar and run the gamut from the basic level to higher level options. Positive song ratings add points/credits to a user which unlocks other appearance mods.

My take:
As far as music selection goes, both sites offer the same selection of popular music (available in the US currently due to licensing restrictions). However, the classical selection is middling to fair with a lot of tinny sort of midi-type tracks that annoy the crap out of me. I think the graphics for Turntable are much more slick and creative (using a wide range of skin tones and non-human avatars will always get points with me). Yet I am annoyed that I cannot preview all the songs on my playlist before I start playing them in a room [insert something about music licensing reasons here].

Gotta pick just one? I’m going to go with Turntable.fm for now. But, to be honest, I probably won’t log into the site all that often.

I went to bed early last night and still had the hardest time getting my lazy self out of bed. I think I’ve hit one of those periodic stagnation points in life and I need to make a change. I’d like to move away, perhaps get a job internationally? But the point is to make a move, make a change instead of this lazy indeterminate stage.

Coffe

Image via Wikipedia

Ode to Cofee (one eff)

The fee I pay for Cofee is something quite divine
Push it through my veins
Pull it through my brains

Roll me up and smoke me
until I’m nothing but ash

Yes I’ll get the jitters
and I’ll happily pay with cash

Leave me be, my cofee friend
leave me be, my cofee fiend

Poem: An Ode to Cofee (one eff)